OBJECT OF DEMOCRACY: The object of Democracy is to score the needed number of points first.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 players
MATERIALS: A modified 52 card deck and up to two jokers, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
AUDIENCE: All Ages
OVERVIEW OF DEMOCRACY
Democracy is a 2 to 6 player trick-taking game. It differs from other trick-taking games though, because you play your cards to tricks facedown. The goal of the game is to score the needed amount of points to win first. This is usually 5 to 10 points and will be determined before the game begins.
It’s similar to many other trick-taking games, otherwise. There are cards with values attached that you try to win in tricks to score points at the end of the round.
The first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new round. The deck is modified removing all 2s from the deck regardless of player amount. For 2, 3, or 5 player games this will be the deck that is used. For 4 player games, 2 jokers are added and for 6 player games, only one joker is added to the deck.
Once the deck is correct the dealer will shuffle. This game is dealt in two parts. Half the deck will be dealt out to the players one at a time in clockwise order. There will also be a hand dealt to the center of the table. The number of cards dealt to each player depends on the number of players. For 2 players 8 cards are dealt to each player for the first and second parts of the game. the center is also dealt 8 cards both rounds. For three-player games, 6 card hands are dealt to players and the center. For 4 players 5 card hands are dealt to the players and the center. For 5 players, 4 card hands are dealt to players and the center, and for 6 players 3 card hands are dealt to players and the center. In 6 player games, 7 cards will remain undealt for each round.
Cards Ranking and Values
The cards are ranked 5 (high), 4, 3, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 (low). Jokers are not ranked because they are used as wild cards. They can be played as any rank of card except trumps. This is discussed in more detail under the Gameplay section.
The cards also have values attached. 5s are worth 5 points. 4s are worth 4 points. 3s and Aces are worth 3 points. Kings, Queens, and Jacks are worth 2 points. 10s, 9s, 8s, and 7s are worth 1 point, and 6s and jokers are worth 0 points.
Once all players have their firsts hand of cards the dealer will flip the top card of the central hand. This determines trumps for the trick. If it’s a joker there are no trumps for the trick. After this is flipped each player takes any card from hand to play to the trick and places it facedown in front of them. Players are not required to try to win a trick and are not forced to follow suit or play trumps at any time.
Once all players have their card in front of them, the dealer will signal when to flip and all players do so simultaneously. Cards are compared to find the winner. The winner is the player with the highest trump if applicable, and if not, is the player with the highest-ranked card regardless of suit. The exception is if the 6 and 5 of trumps are played, the player of the 6 of trumps wins over the 5. The winner of the trick takes all the cards and the flipped central card and puts them in a facedown pile next to them for scoring.
If there is a tie, players keep their card for scoring but the remaining cards including the central card are discarded for no points.
For jokers, they can be any non-trump card. This means any trick where a trump is played the joker loses. If no trumps are played, then the joker wins as long as no 5s or jokers are played. If they are then the trick is tied.
Once the cards of the first part are played the second deal will start and the game continues as before.
Once both parts have been played to completion scoring can begin. Each player will tally the value in their score piles. There is a total of 25 total points available in each deal, so if any player has 13 points, they have won the round. They score a game point. If you win all the points in a game, you will earn 2 game points. multiple people can score a game point is as long as not all cards are evenly divided if all players score the same score then no player receives a point.
END OF GAME
The first player to receive the needed number of game points to win will be the winner of the game.